Jarrad Branthwaite, the centre-back for Everton, has reportedly expressed his desire to leave the club, dealing a significant blow to Sean Dyche’s plans, reports the TeamTALK. Everton is already preparing for a busy summer after parting ways with several players, but losing the 21-year-old is not something they desire.
Players like Yerry Mina, Tom Davies, and Asmir Begovic have all departed Everton upon the expiration of their contracts. Additionally, Demarai Gray is heavily linked with a move to Saudi club Al Hilal, while Everton turned down the opportunity to sign Conor Coady permanently. Furthermore, as TEAMtalk reports, Mason Holgate appears poised to join Sheffield United on a season-long loan.
Consequently, Everton could find themselves with three fewer centre-backs compared to last season. If Branthwaite also departs, it would create a significant defensive shortage for the team.
Branthwaite had a successful loan spell at PSV Eindhoven last season, featuring in 37 appearances overall. His contributions helped the Dutch giants secure the KNVB Cup, and he even managed to score four goals. His impressive performances have attracted attention from Liverpool and Manchester United, two of Everton’s biggest rivals.
Football Insider reports that Branthwaite has expressed his desire to leave the club, with Liverpool, Man Utd, and West Ham showing interest. Everton is eager to retain the young talent, as he is under contract at Goodison Park until 2025.
It is widely known that Jurgen Klopp is seeking to strengthen Liverpool’s defensive options this summer. The performances of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were somewhat underwhelming last season, making it unsurprising if Liverpool pursues a new centre-back.
On the other hand, Manchester United missed out on their primary defensive target, Kim Min-jae, and are now prioritizing a move for Monaco’s Axel Disasi. However, given their previous interest in Branthwaite, they could potentially shift their focus to him. Nonetheless, Everton will not let him go without a significant fee.
Previously, Everton rejected bids from PSV for the defender, and reports suggest that they value him at just £6m. However, given the widespread interest in Branthwaite, it is expected that Everton will demand a much higher fee for his services.